Winter is a pretty season. The crisp air, the blanket of white snow covering… well, everything, and the icicles perched on the edge of homes. While icicles look lovely and seemingly innocent, they could potentially cause problems for your home. If left alone, with the winter temperatures rising and falling in cyclical patterns, icicles will melt and refreeze, which could then form ice dams. Additionally, as the icicles grow, you run the risk of them falling off the roof and causing injury to your family members or guests.
There are a few ways to tackle icicle removal. Some sites may recommend using chemical deicers or rock salt on the roof in order to lower the melting point of ice; however, that method has the potential to do more harm in the long-run than the short-term fix. The chemicals or salt put on the roof will eventually be washed down onto the landscaping below and can pose a threat to your grass and/or flowers come spring. Instead try the two methods below for eliminating icicles:
1. Attic Fans
Turn on your attic fan when freezing precipitation is expected. Aim the airflow at the intersection of your gutter and roof; the flow of air disrupts the formation of icicles and ice dams. Additionally, this method will prevent the ice from melting and leaking into your home.
Using a long-handled aluminum rake, scrape the icicles off your roof while standing safely on the ground. The long handle allows you to remove icicles and snow from several feet up the edge of the roof while giving you clearance for the icicles to fall without harming you. To avoid damaging the shingles on your roof, choose a rake with wheels (like this one, available at your local hardware store for approximately $35).
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